3.23.2020

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Need to Know
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US Coronavirus Cases Spiral
Governments around the world continued to deal with escalating public health and economic crises driven by the new coronavirus pandemic over the weekend. 

The number of confirmed cases in New York skyrocketed, tripling to more than 15,000 and accounting for about 5% of global cases, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking residents to stay at home. Both New York and Illinois joined California in instituting some form of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders. What you can and can't do under such orders, and which businesses stay open, can be confusing and varies by state; here's a breakdown.

Meanwhile, President Trump activated the National Guard to assist with efforts in California, New York, and Washington.

In Washington, DC, frenetic negotiations on a massive economic stimulus package stalled yesterday over Democratic objections to the details of a proposed $500B corporate loan fund. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) still hopes to push the bill, now including up to $1.7T in support, through the Senate by the end of the day. Separately, McConnell's Kentucky colleague, Sen. Rand Paul (R), became the first senator to test positive for the virus. A staffer for Vice President Mike Pence also tested positive, though Pence and the second lady tested negative.  

US residents and businesses now have until July 15 to file taxes, after officials pushed the April 15 deadline to allow taxpayers to hold back on payments. Taxes can still be filed - and refunds received - at any point before the deadline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 913 points (-4.6%) Friday, followed by the S&P 500 (-4.3%) and Nasdaq (-3.8%). The drop capped the Dow's worst week since 2008; the index has lost 35% of its value since hitting an all-time high Feb. 12.

The United Kingdom closed all restaurants and schools but stopped short of a total shutdown. Deaths in Italy continued to increase, passing 5,500, while Spanish officials extended a state of emergency as cases ballooned by 25% Saturday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into self-quarantine after a doctor she had seen recently tested positive. In Africa, lockdowns began as the number of confirmed cases passed 1,000.

The US has reported 35,224 cases with 471 deaths as of this morning (real-time map).  

In positive news, the FDA authorized a rapid test for the virus that yields results in 45 minutes, a key to the type of quick on-the-spot testing that helped South Korea stabilize its outbreak. 
Asteroid Bombing Gives First Data
Japanese researchers revealed data over the weekend suggesting the near-Earth asteroid known as Ryugu is likely just 9 million years old, surprisingly young for a class of objects that began forming during the early stages of the Solar System. The study is the first to look beneath the surface of an orbiting asteroid and represents the fruits of an ambitious plan that involved blasting a crater in Ryugu's surface using a copper projectile. Scientists had believed the asteroid to be either younger (9 million years old) or older (160 million years old) based on a study of surface craters, but couldn't reach a conclusion without knowing how firm the underlying material was. After blasting Ryugu's surface, the craft descended to study the pristine layers uncovered in the new crater. The findings suggest the asteroid is relatively soft, supporting a theory that it is made up of rubble from a long-ago collision of two other asteroids.

This fascinating simulation of Ryugu shows how similar its orbit is to Earth's.
Brady Makes it Official 
Superstar NFL quarterback Tom Brady officially announced an agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, inking a two-year deal reportedly worth $50M in guaranteed money and $9M in potential bonuses. The signing ends a 20-year run of dominance with the New England Patriots, where the three-time NFL MVP and head coach Bill Belichick combined to play in nine Super Bowls, winning six. Brady - who will be 43 years old when the season starts, one of the oldest quarterbacks ever -  will have two Pro Bowl wide receivers at his disposal in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with a defense that ranked sixth in limiting opponents' yards-per-play. Brady takes over for QB Jameis Winston, the former No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, who led the league last year in both passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30, seven of which were returned for touchdowns). Catch up on the rest of the free agent signings here.  

City officials in Buffalo, home to Patriots' divisional foe the Bills, reminded residents to celebrate Brady's departure responsibly. 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Kenny Rogers, country music legend who sold over 100 million records, dies at 81 from natural causes (More) | Music world reacts to Rogers’ death (More)
> Rihanna’s charitable foundation pledges $5M for coronavirus relief efforts (More) | World-renowned opera singer Plácido Domingo, 79, tests positive for the coronavirus (More)
> Harvey Weinstein isolated in prison after testing positive for the coronavirus, just days after arriving following sexual assault conviction (More)
Science & Technology
> Google launches its COVID-19 website, with localized resources for users across the US and enhanced results for searches related to the disease (More) | World Health Organization launches global megatrial of the four most promising COVID-19 drugs (More, $$)
> Scientists recover and reprogram stem cells from a supercentenarian (those who live past 110 years old) for the first time (More)
> New brain-computer device allows for a number of different brain signals to be read in real time on one chip at once, while connecting it to traditional silicon-based devices (More)
Business & Markets
> Goldman Sachs economist predicts up to 2.25 million Americans may have filed for unemployment this past week; figures will be officially released Thursday, the previous high was 695,000 in October 1982 (More)
> Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. reaches deal with California governor to overhaul its operations to help the company emerge from bankruptcy (More)
> Hotel giant Marriott to furlough tens of thousands of employees amid the coronavirus pandemic (More)

From our partners: Divvy is the expense management platform changing the way companies spend money. No more expense reports and better budgeting. Save thousands during confident or uncertain times. Take a demo, get $100 (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs
> At least 17 people injured after 5.3 magnitude earthquake hits Croatian capital of Zagreb, the strongest to hit the city in 140 years (More)
> Election 2020: Former Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg walks back on promise to pay campaign staff through the general election, will fold operations into the Democratic National Committee; hundreds of staffers let go but told they can reapply to the DNC (More)
> California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) in critical condition with pneumonia linked to a recent rib fracture; tested negative for COVID-19 (More)
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Etcetera
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Eerie photos of empty cities around the world.
An epidemiologist's straight talk goes viral
... speaking of which, here's a compilation of Italian mayors losing it on people disobeying quarantine.
Big thinkers predict how the pandemic will change the world.
Check out this live cam of Washington, DC's cherry blossom trees reaching peak bloom.
What it's like living in the world's happiest country during a pandemic.
"ZoomBombing" is trolling's newest terrible frontier.
People everywhere are failing hilariously at working from home.
Clickbait: A cat knocks over a domino (it's mesmerizing).
Historybook: Patrick Henry delivers "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech (1775); Roger Bannister, first person to run a sub four-minute mile, born (1929); Adolf Hitler becomes dictator of Germany (1933); RIP Elizabeth Taylor (2011).
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